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Breaking Free: My Life With Dissaociative Identity Disorder

By Herschel Walker (Author)
Our Price $ 23.79  
Retail Value $ 27.99  
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Item Number 421447  
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Item Specifications...

Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 6.3" Width: 5.4" Height: 0.7"
Weight:   0.3 lbs.
Binding  CD
Release Date   Apr 1, 2008
Publisher   OASIS AUDIO #514
ISBN  1598594184  
EAN  9781598594188  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
The NFL legend and Heisman Trophy winner shares the inspiring story of his life and diagnosis with dissociative identity disorder. Herschel Walker is widely regarded as one of football's greatest running backs. He led the University of Georgia to victory in the Sugar Bowl on the way to an NCAA Championship and he capped a sensational college career by earning the 1982 Heisman Trophy. Herschel spent twelve years in the NFL, where he rushed for more than eight thousand yards and scored sixty-one rushing touchdowns. But despite the acclaim he won as a football legend, track star, Olympic competitor, and later a successful businessman, Herschel realized that his life, at times, was simply out of control. He often felt angry, self-destructive, and unable to connect meaningfully with friends and family. Drawing on his deep faith, Herschel turned to professionals for help and was ultimately diagnosed with dissociative identity disorder, formerly known as multiple personality disorder. While some might have taken this diagnosis as a setback, Herschel approached his mental health with the same indomitable spirit he brought to the playing field. It also gave him, for the first time, insight into his life's unexplained passages, stretches of time that seemed forever lost. Herschel came to understand that during those times, his "alters," or alternate personalities, were in control. Born into a poor, but loving family in the South, Herschel was an overweight child with a stutter who suffered terrible bullying at school. He now understands that he created "alters" who could withstand abuse. But beyond simply enduring, other "alters" came forward to help Herschel overcome numerous obstacles and, by the time he graduated high school, become an athlete recognized on a national level. In Breaking Free, Herschel tells his story -- from the joys and hardships of childhood to his explosive impact on college football to his remarkable professional career. And he gives voice and hope to those suffering from DID. Herschel shows how this disorder played an integral role in his accomplishments and how he has learned to live with it today. His compelling account testifies to the strength of the human spirit and its ability to overcome any challenge.

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More About Herschel Walker

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Herschel Walker played professional football for the Dallas Cowboys, Philadelphia Eagles, New York Giants, and Minnesota Vikings. He now owns a number of businesses, including a food service company, under the name Renaissance Man International. He lives in Dallas, Texas.

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
this book really disturbed me  Nov 22, 2009
I was really looking forward to this book, but was disappointed and disturbed by it. First of all, it's filled in "factual information" that is simply incorrect. At one point the author refers to DID and schizophrenia as personality disorders, and they are not. DID is a dissociative disorder, and schizophrenia is a psychotic disorder. At another point, he says that PTSD is the most widely known dissociative disorder. PTSD is not a dissociative disorder at all, it's an anxiety disorder. These distinctions may not seem important, but if you're going to attempt to explain mental disorders to the public, I think you should take the time to get your facts straight.

Then he talks about the treatment of DID and says that the goal of treatment is integration. Well, that may be his goal, but it's not "the goal." Some experts do think that people with DID need to integrate, but others think the goal of treatment should be communication and cooperation among the different alters. He also says that the patient and therapist are not equal partners in the treatment and that treatment should not be a democracy, that the therapist should be in charge. I find that appalling. The patient is the employer, hiring an employer, the therapist, to do a job for them. The patient is the one in charge, not the therapist.

Really, it seems he does not understand his condition very well. Which is OK, but if you don't understand it well, you probably shouldn't be writing a book trying to explain it to other people.

I was also confused because he stated that DID is always caused by severe child trauma, but then reported he had no severe childhood trauma. Yes, being bullied in school can be traumatic, but it doesn't usually cause DID. And he stated repeatedly that he grew up in a loving, supportive family, but when he described them, they didn't sound all that supportive. I was left wondering what things he left out or what things he is in denial about.
breaking free  Nov 2, 2009
I was so pleased to receive this book and its an inspiration for me to begin to read it. the wording is clear and its written in a way that for me who has D.I.D. can understand and get great comfort and encourgment to continue on my road to intergration and healing.thank you so much for herchels bravery in writting this book and give outreach for people like me.
Poorly written  Oct 19, 2009
A reader with any knowledge of DID will not get much out of this book. Facts are scant, as are the evidence of personalities he claims to have. Half of the book is about his success on the football field. A huge disappointment.
Self-Indulgent Disservice to "Real" Dissociative Patients Everywhere  Jan 3, 2009
I saw this book in my local bookstore in the last-chance clearance section (which should tell you something right there) and I became interested in the title. Having been a successfully-integrated DID survivor myself, I'm always encouraged to see more books on this subject. I was initially hopeful, since I had not heard of Herschel Walker before--I don't watch footbal--and was truly hoping that this autobiography of another DID person's healing journey would be a helpful one.

Unfortunately, this book was anything but helpful. In fact, it does a disservice to all Dissociative patients everywhere.

First off, the first three chapters of this book is a self-indulgent, almost narcissistic rambling about why he wrote the book in the first place. He seems to be almost apologetic about his "normal" family, in light of how he knows how DID is usually induced in most patients (as he clumsily explains in the first two chapters). He was raised in a good, loving, Christian family, according to Mr. Walker, and no one ever abused him. Yet somehow, because of intense bullying at school and his being oversensitive to the dark as a young child, he "developed" alter personalities to "handle his fears by himself."

Second, and most important, while paging through this travesty of a book, at no time did I read anywhere where a specific alter personality took executive control of the host personality--the SPECIFIC hallmarks and main diagnostic criteria for diagnosing Dissociative Identity Disorder in the first place. And this man was supposedly clinically diagnosed by an acquaintance of his who allegedly runs a Dissociative Disorders clinic. (There was a brief mention in this book of Mr. Walker having a short stay at this clinic and coming face to face with other DID and Dissociative patients who had gone through the more classical severe abuse that induces this condition.) The rest of the book is a meandering autobiography of his football career and the times when he had anger control issues that eventually led him to seek help.

At best, I'm being generous to allow that, perhaps, Mr. Walker may have had **a form of** Dissociative Disorder--maybe even DD-NOS (Dissociative Disorder Not Otherwise Specified, a diagnosis usually given when DID is too strong a diagnosis, but the subject clearly shows Dissociative tendencies). We all react to stress and trauma in unique and original ways, and it may very well be that for him the bullying and sensitivity was enough to induce him to dissociate as a young boy.

However, reading this book will NOT educate someone newly-diagnosed with DID, nor will it give that person a clear view of what they're facing in the healing process. At best, this was a poorly-written autobiography of a DID patient's journey (which was barely mentioned at the end of the book; he only went into the therapy part in the last 2-3 chapters). At worst, reading this book could set that same newly-diagnosed person back months in their healing process--there is absolutely nothing in this book that matches the medically-recognized definition of Dissociative Identity Disorder as outlined in the DSM IV-R, and it could very well dissuade a person from getting competent treatment from a Dissociative Disorders specialist.

I STRONGLY suggest running far and fast away from this book. There are other, better DID-related books available, including "Life After MPD" by Debra Lighthart (unless religion is a "trigger" for the patient); "First Person Plural" by Cameron West, Ph.D (a much more coherent treatment autobiography); and "A Mind of My Own" by Chris Costner Sizemore, the REAL "Eve" of "Three Faces of Eve" (a wonderful autobiography of her true integration and recovery process--there was more to the story than was first presented).
Complete Baloney  Oct 3, 2008
This diagnosis is a complete fraud. Not just Mr. Walker's case, but almost all of them. In over 20 years as a therapist I have never seen one legitimate case of MPD/DID. It is a diagnosis created by unethical mental health professionals and claimed by patients with overactive imaginations. Read the book "Creating Hysteria" by Joan Acocella if you want the truth on MPD/DID.

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